A recent joint declaration from the American Academy of Pediatrics-American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry-Children’s Hospital Association reported high mental health disorders among children and adolescents in the United States. Mental health conditions are frequent, even among very young children.
A new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the annual occurrence of mental health conditions among children was 20%. By the time they attain 18 years of age, 40% of all children border towards the criteria of mental health disorders.
Disparities have also been documented – children hailing from minority backgrounds show more profound effects and have poorer access to care compared to children from other socio-economic backgrounds. Further, the risk factors are less recognized, and certain mental health conditions are more prevalent among minoritized children. However, the treatment rates remain low among children.
The joint statement emphasized that the emergency related to child and adolescent mental health conditions supports recommendations for evidence collection and facility changes to support prevention, identification, treatment, and care coordination for these disorders. Interventions must be directed towards providing household income support, safe and clean housing and environment, nutrition, and social and health-related aspects. Public health surveillance systems must be enforced to track access to care.
Source: Pediatrics. 2022; 149 (5): e2022056611.Doi: 10.1542/peds.2022-056611
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